Spotlight: Master Sgt. Rudy Panacci

  • Published
  • By Master Sgt. Jeremy Roman

Q: How long have you been with the 301st?

A:  I’ve been with the 301st Operations Support Flight since 2013. Prior to here, I was assigned to the 482nd Operations Support Squadron, Homestead Air Reserve Base, Fla. And the 308th Rescue Squadron, Patrick Air Force Base, Fla.

Q: What did you want to do as a kid?

A: As a child, I never had a set career or profession that I wanted to be in. The most vivid memory I have was to one day join Dave Matthews band as a musician.

Q: Why did you join the military?

A: When I graduated high school, I didn’t know what field of education I wanted to study. My mother, a retired Air Force major, pushed me to join the reserves and at least serve one enlistment to see if I got a feel for what I wanted to eventually study.

Q: You were selected as the FY 2018 Outstanding Air Reserve Component SNCO Aircrew Flight Equipment Award winner. What went into that and how does that make you feel?

A:  First off, if it weren’t for leaders appointed over me to write packages and show recognition, I wouldn’t be responding to this question! I have realized that my daily agenda is bigger than myself and that our work center must function as a team. Obviously, hard work, dedication, and a sense of staying connected to who I am helped with winning this award. I think attitude plays a big role in our daily lives. I try to have a positive attitude towards anything I do. For the AFE career field, it must be understood that any piece of equipment we touch may save the lives of one of our pilots. Nothing gives me a greater sense of accomplishment than knowing that if they were to ever use their equipment, they would make it back home to their family.

Q: What is your favorite part of the job?

A:  Many people think that we simply swab out masks after a flight. There's so much more than that. We conduct various training: water survival, combat survival, and chemical training. We also must be experts on a wide range of equipment items such as helmets, masks, Anti-G suits, vests, radios, beacons, helmet cueing systems and the list goes on. For us, every day is the same, yet every day is different at the same time. The best part of the job is not having to sit stagnant, but always keeping busy.

Q: What are your career goals?

A: Deep down I feel a sense of conviction that the enlisted force is my calling. I want to eventually make it to the Command Chief position because I want to have a positive influence on the lives of many. Creating a legacy of leadership within an organization is my calling and I hope that I can be a great mentor along the way.

Q: What are your hobbies?

A:  I’ve never really had a particular hobby. Spending time with my wife and son is my favorite pastime. Also, I am an avid reader and I love any type of leadership reading material.

Q: Fill in the blank: Reserve Citizen Airmen _____________.

A: Reserve Citizen Airmen are the backbone to the United States Air Force. The experiences that a traditional reservist brings from their civilian job can greatly impact the military force, from their leadership perspective as well as their understanding.

Q: What is something people might not know about you?

A:  I keep a leadership journal. Every time I read and highlight a line I enjoy, it makes it into a leather-bound journal.

Q: Anything else you’d like to add? Anyone you’d like to thank?


A: No significant accomplishment can ever be achieved by an individual effort. I am very thankful for my co-workers in the AFE shop. I’d also like to say thank you to 301st Fighter Wing Command Chief Safley. You’ve taught me that you must have a leadership game plan for your life!

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